Why is early screening important?

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By Cassandra West

• If social-emotional problems are identified and addressed early, children are less likely to be placed in special education programs -- and later in life, they're also less likely to experience school failure and unemployment.

• Developmental delays, learning disorders, and behavioral and social-emotional problems are estimated to affect 1 in every 6 children.

• Only 20 to 30 percent of these children are identified as needing help before school begins.

• Intervention prior to kindergarten has huge academic, social, and economic benefits. Studies have shown that children who receive early treatment for developmental delays are more likely to graduate from high school, hold jobs, live independently, and avoid teen pregnancy, delinquency, and violent crime, which results in a savings to society of about $30,000 to $100,000 per child.

(Source: Age & Stages Questionnaire, Brookes Publishing)

SAY Connects is sponsored by the Good Heart Work Smart Foundation in partnership with Success for All Youth (SAY).

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